Gridley and Timms Win NWISA Singlehanded Championships

Gridley and Timms Win NWISA Singlehanded Championships

Northwest Interscholastic Sailing Association Singlehanded Championships

Photo by Jim Skeel

It wasn’t the breeziest of regattas, but the high school singlehanded championships were sailed over the weekend off Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle. The winners were Grant Gridley in the Radial class and Owen Timms in the full rig class. University sailors got their own Radial and full rig fleets. Congratulations to all who participated. BTW, I’m pleased to report that the Seattle Laser Fleet provided a number of boats in support of this event.

Here’s the report from the NWISA:

Saturday, September 23:

Competitors from around the Northwest were greeted by a light southerly on Saturday morning. This proved to be quite stable and peaked around 8 knots by noon. The breeze then began to fade, and by 3pm it had shut off completely. We were fortunate to complete 6 radial and 7 full rig races in that time, alternating between double lap windward/leewards and trapezoid courses. The 20 boat Laser Radial fleet especially was very competitive. This resulted in at least 8 general recalls (we lost count) and most of the later starts under I-flag.

Sunday, September 24:

The forecast for Sunday looked bleak, and after a shore postponement competitors left the dock at 11am to try racing in a fragile northerly. The breeze was just strong enough to start a Radial race, and it maintained a 3-4 knot average until most competitors had finished. After it fizzled out, competitors waited around on the water for another hour and a half before the Race Committee called racing for the day. NWISA is excited to send representatives Owen Timms and Per Black in the Full Rig and Grant Gridley and Abbie Carlson in the Laser Radial to St. Petersburg, FL later this fall. They will do a terrific job representing our conference. Big thanks to all the volunteers and race officials this weekend. The regatta was well run and made the most of our limited racing windows.

More Photos by Jim Skeel. Click to enlarge.

US Sailing just sent out their Youth Sailing newsletter. Take a look.

Yanez Repeats at the 2017 Dale Jepsen One Design Regatta in Bellingham

Yanez Repeats at the 2017 Dale Jepsen One Design Regatta in Bellingham

It was a small but mighty fleet of Lasers at Bellingham Yacht Club’s Dale Jepsen One Design regatta this year. Jorge Yanez, the winner of the DJOD last year and the winner of the Laser Radial Masters Nationals event in the Gorge this year was there; the winner and runner up from 2015, Sascha Smutny and Doug Honey were there; and Perham Black, fresh off his win at the Bellingham Youth Regatta was there. The top of the 9-boat fleet was so evenly matched that places changed at nearly every mark rounding.

This is a photo from the Laser fleet in a previous Dale Jepsen Regatta.

Mike Johnson lead the regatta after two races with a first and a third for four points, followed closely by Yanex and Black with five points each. Yanez jumped out after that with two firsts in races 3 and 4, establishing a five point lead on Black. Undeterred, Black went hard right on the last beat of the last race, jumping past several boats and winning the race. Yanez finished 4th to save the regatta win by one point.  If he had been 5th, the tie breaker would have gone to Black.  

Third place went to Mike Johnson with only 4 points separating third through sixth places. It is for this kind of tight racing, often overlapped with other boats at every mark rounding and multiple boats arriving at the finish together, that we keep showing up. There were no protests, no starting line abuses, and only a few capsizes. Racers compared their ideas after each race were clearly glad to be lucky enough to be having fun among friends.  

Results here.

Regatta chair Mike Poulos, race officer Jonathan Knowles and their terrific volunteers, did a great job under difficult circumstances to choreograph five well-run and fair races. All races occurred on Sunday due to no wind on Saturday. Saturday had been the regatta organizer’s nightmare. Just enough wind to leave shore that went flat at the first warning, and then came back up 10 minutes after all boats got back to the parking lot. So on Sunday, everyone was elated to see a sunny 8 to 12 knot southeasterly materialize from the glassy bay – less than an hour before the first warning. The breeze held nicely right up through the last race and then died.  

It is interesting to note that only three participants at the event this year were also at the event last year.  Some could say we lost the others but the positive perspective says we gained several new people. Let’s build on that momentum and have some great events this fall. We could have a start at Corinthian’s PSSC (October 7-8) and Turkey Bowl (November 18-19). Would it be crazy to imagine 15 Laser’s on the starting line?

–Jay Leon

Ed. Note: I’d love to post something on the FJ and 505 fleets, so if anyone wants to share some words or photos, send them along and I’ll get them in. Also, thanks to Jay for the Laser report. No, indeed, 15 Lasers is not too many to expect for for PSSC and Turkey Bowl, especially if the great young sailors show up. Maybe both full rig and Radial fleets? Note this video from the Junior Olympic Regatta.

Junior Olympics Hosted by SYC

Junior Olympics Hosted by SYC

Junior sailing is certainly alive and well in the Pacific Northwest. This video from the Junior Olympics sailed last month and hosted by SYC was just made available:

NW Junior Olympics 2017 from Matau Media on Vimeo.

 

SYC Coach Cameron Hoard Reports: Seattle Yacht Club hosted the 2017 North West Jr Olympic Regatta. The racing took place August 26-27, on Shilshole Bay. This year the event had 93 boats with 112 Jr sailors competing for gold in one of the largest Junior regattas in the NW. Two days of perfect sailing, with 8 races sailed in 8-15 conditions on Puget Sound, plus an excellent Salmon dinner on Saturday, and fun party with raffle prizes and piñatas!

I’ll echo what SYC sailing director Brian Ledbetter has said, that much of the success of junior sailing in the area can be attributed to Andrew Nelson of The Sailing Foundation.

It’s worth noting that the tremendous turnout and enthusiasm was for traditional classes: FJs, Vanguard 15s, Laser Radials and lots of Optimists. Kids turn out in droves and have plenty of fun in those “old” designs!

Results.

Kids Sailing a Clean Regatta

Kids Sailing a Clean Regatta
A few stickers and old trophies are new again!

Kaitlyn Van Nostrand recently assumed coaching duties at the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center on Lake Washington. She’s also a dedicated environmental pro, currently an account manager at Republic Services. She’s been working with Sailors for the Sea for following their Clean Regatta guidelines, and last weekend’s Milfoil junior regatta was deemed “Clean.” It sets a great example for other sailing and yacht clubs to follow, and by the sounds of it, it was more fun than chore. Here’s Kaitlyn’s report on the event, borrowed from an email to Sailors for the Sea. 

We had a great Milfoil Junior Regatta with both sun and wind last Saturday. There were 26 participants sail in 4 fleets (Opti, Laser, V15 and FJ) from 7 different clubs in the Seattle area. We had our sailors from Mt. Baker be on our green team wearing green t-shirts with me. They rocked the pins on their life jackets. 🙂

Our first place trophies were re-purposed ones that I found in the boathouse from the 1970’s! I removed the plaque on the front (may reuse them for other awards later), put a Sailors for the Sea Sticker on them and they came out great. Our participation awards were mugs for Optis and glasses for the other classes that I got from Goodwill. Stickered them as well, they looked awesome! Each participant received a sticker too. 

Our office staff was great in helping with our water bottle station, communicating to sailors they needed to BYO water bottle and we ran a nearly zero waste event since our lunch was pizza and we composted the plates and pizza boxes. 🙂 

Looking forward to passing on our Clean Regatta lessons to other clubs on the Northwest circuit to get more clean regattas registered for next summer.

Real Community Sailing in Renton

Real Community Sailing in Renton

Joe Burcar and I were privileged to speak at The Renton (Seattle suburb) Sailing Center’s monthly meeting a couple of nights ago. Privileged, I say, because listening to Rebekah Padgett and the dozen or so sailors attending, turned on a lightbulb for me.

Community sailing takes root at meetings like this.

Sure, big community sailing programs draw a lot of attention, including mine, but perhaps this is where sailing’s future health can be found and where more of my attention should be focused.

Think oceanic, sail local. Really local.

 

Joe Burcar

Joe was a board member of The Sailing Foundation, and the theme he focused on was partnering. Padget and her team are doing that, working with other programs in the area that are interested in partnering and with The Sailing Foundation. Cooperating with the city of Renton they have dock space, boats (including keelboats), an education program and above all esprit de corps.

Joe and I talked about the history of sailing here in the Pacific Northwest and how we see the future of the sport in the area. But the most interesting part of the talk for me was hearing the intention, and difficulties, of getting kids sailing. The Renton club needs more families involved, but it’s hard to entice them with all the competition for kids’ attention. I can vouch for that.

One thing is clear, the Renton Sailing Center is a great alternative for anyone looking to get out sailing. You’ll find the welcome mat out. I’m going to take their offer on heading out for a sail one of these days.

Here’s the story of the Renton Sailing Center by President Rebekah Padgett:

Founded in 1965, Renton Sailing Center (RSC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community sailing organization dedicated to the sport of sailing, with a family-like atmosphere to support the interests of sailors of all abilities.  

Located at the north end of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton, RSC is has over 50 member families.  While most of the members live in the greater Renton area, they extend from Olympia to Everett and Port Ludlow to Fall City. 

RSC has provided small boat and keelboat instruction for many years, and over a year ago became a US Sailing Community Sailing Center.  It has been offering US Sailing Small Boat instruction ever since.  This year the Center held its first women only small boat sailing class, and it hopes to continue its focus on women. This summer RSC became a US Sailing-accredited Basic Keelboat Sailing School.  In 2017, RSC has every course full, for a total of 41 Small Boat students and 8 Basic Keelboat students.  Courses are offered through the City of Renton Community Services Department.

The Center supports an internal small boat racing/skill-building series that begins in May and goes through the summer.  It also provides sailing clinics to increase members’ skills.  Other activities include open sailing, a shoreline cleanup in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, BBQs, a mentorship program for new members, and more.  

Occasionally members participate in outside races in Lake Washington, and one crew even completed Stage 1 of the Race 2 Alaska in 2016, from Port Townsend to Victoria.  

RSC held its second Experience Renton Sailing event in early June, where participants sign up for a free introductory sail.  This year was a record 61 participants, with 39 adult participants and 22 youth.  Most of them were first-time sailors from the Renton community.  RSC is proud of the growth of this event and that it was able to provide so many community members an opportunity to try sailing.  This epitomizes what  Renton Sailing Center is all about.

In the past, most of the vessels were donated, but RSC has been upgrading its fleet and currently has two Capri 14s, four RS Visions, a Hobie 18, Hunter 170, Ranger 20, Ranger 24, and Catalina 27.  

The entire organization is run by volunteers, including the instructors.  And all members are expected to contribute time and skills to the Center. 

Current members of the Board are President Rebekah Padgett, Vice President Kirsten Parks, Treasurer Rebecca Ward, and Secretary Katey Lent, as well as Maintenance Chief Dean Peoples and Members-at-Large Buzz Chase and Will Wagner.  

Some members have gone on to own their own boats, racing locally, living aboard, instructing at local sailing schools, or even heading out on a circumnavigation with current and past members as crew. 

RSC may be an unobtrusive little sailing center at the south end of Lake Washington, but it gives people who don’t have deep yachting roots a chance to try out the sport at an affordable rate, a supportive community, a place to build skills, and it even launches big dreams.

Learn more about RSC at rentonsailingcenter.org and follow them on Facebook at Renton Sailing Center.

Please share this piece on social media and with anyone you know who might be interested in a very local, very real, sailing club.

Harken Club for Kids

Harken Club for Kids

I’m lifting this post straight from Scuttlebutt. I’m sure neither the good folk at Scuttlebutt nor the good folk at Harken will mind. It’s for the kids after all, and the future of sailing. I signed up my son Ian right away. In an industry that is focused way too often on that extra 1/100th of a knot of boatspeed (and Harken is really really good at finding that speed) it’s great to see an eye turned to the important stuff. Please share with all the little sailors you know. Bill Faude of Harken explains:

What exactly is a Blockhead?

What’s the genesis of the Blockhead program?
Harken CEO Bill Goggins and myself have young kids getting into sailing (four kids between us between the ages of 6 and 12 with younger Goggins kids to age in soon) and so were logically remembering what kind of great sailing experiences we had growing up.

We remember drilling and pop riveting…moving cam cleats and changing between cam cleats and clam cleats and rigging twings and then going back to guy hooks…moving hiking straps around…flipping boats and wet sanding…really taking care of our boats to make sure they fit us better and in the balance learning to be self-reliant.

In the midst of this, we came to the realization that kids don’t do that now. The boats they sail are MUCH better than a generation ago. They all come well rigged, and not much breaks. Even second-hand Optis and 420s work beautifully.

As Harken employees, we are charged with growing our Brand. So we’ll never disguise the fact the existence of a sailing generation growing up without learning to screw or pop-rivet an eye strap to the deck, looked like a potential business risk. We felt the obligation to expose the next generation to the link between high-performance rigging applied effectively and better results. That link was not well understood.

All told we both wanted and needed to launch a program like this.

And what kind of program have you launched?
We want to help the next generation of sailors love sailing as much as we do. Sounds like BS when I say it, but it’s true. Personally, I like sailing because it lets me go ‘off the grid’ for a few hours. There are no curbs and gutters and lines on the racecourse, so I can call my own shots.

I actually still remember what it felt like when I first took my Laser (13095) off the dock and out of hearing range of my instructors. On my own. We think once kids feel that, they’ll imprint on the sport better.

Emotionally, we want kids to feel the confidence sailing can uniquely bring. Rationally, we want there to be less Helicoptering for parents to do. Sailors should know how to maintain their own boats…the earlier they start this the better.

We’re looking to engage the kids in the media they choose. So Blockheads is an old school fan-club model bolted to a video-infused website with social media opportunities for them to share their experiences and results.

Importantly, we’re really conscious of staying in our lane, so the content we’re trying to create is all about boat care, rigging, go-fast ideas and shared experiences. We’re working hard to curate it so we don’t get into areas where others are already excelling.

So there won’t be tactical discussions or sailing technique lessons. That’s not Harken’s niche. We explain how rigging works and how to upgrade for performance.

Who can join the program?
Anyone can join and it’s free, but we’re writing for a target between the Opti Green Fleet and the end of College Sailing. There’s free SWAG when you become a Blockhead. And we hope the program will grow so we can offer the benefits of becoming a member to more kids. Right now, we’ve budgeted for 1000 new members kits for this year.

• Additional details in this fact sheet or at www.harkenblockheads.com.
• Contact at blockheads@harken.com

Abbie Carlson is Yet Another Rising Seattle Sailing Star, Wins Leiter Cup

Abbie Carlson is Yet Another Rising Seattle Sailing Star, Wins Leiter Cup

The Seattle area seems to churn out champion sailors at a impressively steady pace. The latest is Abbie Carlson, who’s been quietly making her way through the ranks of local, regional and now national sailing. Abbie is part of the Seattle Yacht Club team, and the latest in a line of very successful junior women singlehanders including Hanne Weaver and Talia Toland. We did run the US Sailing press release, but took a shot at asking Abbie to come up with a few words – hopefully they’ll inspire more junior women, and sailors of all types and ages, to join the fun. We’ll keep tabs on all the men and women who are “out there” in the big regattas. Results. Here’s Abbie: 

 

Abbie Carlson and the Leiter Cup

I had an amazing time winning Leiter Cup this year at the Houston Yacht Club. After placing third at Leiter Cup last year in Seattle, my goal for this year’s regatta was to be first.

The first two days consisted of a clinic to adjust to Galveston Bay, the racing venue. The other three days were race days. Overall, this regatta had very light wind conditions with the occasional thunderstorm. On the first race day, after being postponed on the water for several hours due to no wind, we were finally able to sail one shifty and light wind race. I had a great start to the regatta winning this race by half a leg. We started a second race that day although it was abandoned due to an oncoming thunderstorm that brought 20+ knot of wind. The next day we weren’t able to get on the water until 5pm due to thunderstorms and the absence of wind. During these long postponements, it was challenging to remain focused. I found that staying patient and hydrated were essential in achieving this.

However, once the wind came up a bit, we were able to sail two more races in very light wind conditions. Due to the lack of the desired number of races, the race committee moved the start time from the daily 11am time to 9:30am for the final day of racing. By the last day, we had sailed a total of six races meaning that we were able to drop our worst score. The race committee considered starting a seventh race, however a thunderstorm started approaching us so they decided to call it off.

The girls that placed in the top five were all really close in points so I had no idea that I had won the regatta until I got to the dock. I was so excited to achieve my goal. I had such a fun time meeting new talented sailors from across the country and reconnecting with old friends. It’s exciting to know that the Leiter Cup has now been won by three sailors in the Northwest form the Seattle Yacht Club in the last six years. Without the help and support of my coach, Cameron Hoard, Brian Ledbetter, West Coast Sailing, and many others including US Sailing, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I can’t wait to attend Leiter Cup next year in Connecticut.  

Abbie Carlson Wins Close Leiter Cup/Junior Women’s Singlehanded Champs

Abbie Carlson Wins Close Leiter Cup/Junior Women’s Singlehanded Champs

Some press releases are just a lot more fun than others to repost. Seattle Yacht Club Sailing Director Brian Ledbetter clued us into this one. His Seattle Yacht Club race team, and Seattle sailors, continue to establish themselves as a force on the national scene. Brian’s quick to point out that this is the third time SYC women have won the Leiter Cup in recent years, including Hanne Weaver in 2012 and Talia Toland last year. Congratulations Abbie and the support network we know you have!

2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship Comes Down to Final Race

us-junior-womens-single-champ-logo-w-leiter/SHOREACRES, Texas (July 11, 2017) – The 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship finished as one of most closely contested US Sailing National Championships in recent history on Tuesday. In the end, it was Abbie Carlson (Bellevue, Wash.) who earned first place honors and the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy following a strong showing over three days on Galveston Bay in the Laser Radial. She placed third at last year’s championship in Seattle. For the second straight year, a sailor representing the Seattle Yacht Club has won the Leiter Trophy.

Carlson trailed leader Grace Austin (Greenwich, Conn) by seven points through five races in a very competitive fleet. The first five races of the series were dominated by light wind, but just before the sixth race the seabreeze filled from the Southeast at 8 to 10 knots, providing the best sailing conditions of the week.

Abbie Carlson winning race 1.

Carlson placed fourth in the final race, ahead of her rivals for the overall title. This, combined with the dropped score that came into effect upon the completion of six races, gave Carlson an 11-point turnaround and a four point win over Austin. Marianna Shand (Chula Vista, Calif.) finished third overall and posted the top results in Tuesday’s three races.

The top five sailors on the leaderboard at the conclusion of the championships were separated by only seven points. There were also six different race winners in six races. Due to insufficient wind and stormy conditions, only one race was conducted on Sunday and two races on Monday.

Final Standings – Top 5
1. Abbie Carlson, Seattle Yacht Club, 1-[15]-5-2-8-4- ; 20
2. Grace Austin, Belle Haven Club / LYC, 5-2-2-10-5-[15]- ; 24
3. Marianna Shand, Mission Bay Yacht Club, 9-[27]-9-1-3-3- ; 25
4. AnaLucia Clarkson, Seattle Yacht Club, 13-1-3-3-[20]-6- ; 26
5. Anika Boicheff, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 3-4-[13]-11-7-2- ; 27
Full Results

“Honestly, I was kind of surprised because everybody was so close in points, so I didn’t find out until I came in,” said Carlson. “It was hard to stay positive during all the postponements, but I stayed focused. It was really shifty today and it wasn’t what I was expecting. Overall, I thought my speed was pretty good on the upwinds and downwinds.”

High-level coaching and skill development is a key component of this championship. Prior to racing, teams took part in a two-day clinic on Friday and Saturday led by a collection of top coaches from around the country.

“One of the things that sets the Leiter Trophy apart from other regattas is the clinic and the US Sailing provided coaches for all competitors,” said John Pearce, Youth Director of US Sailing. “It creates an atmosphere of collaboration and pushes the sailors to focus on building their skills while also striving for a great result in the Championship.”

“Our coaching staff comprised of Head Coach, Richard Feeny, and coaches Elizabeth Kratzig, Scott Ikle, Beka Schiff, and Hannah Tuson-Turner have worked with all of the sailors as a group throughout the event. During the on-shore postponement Monday, Elizabeth presented to the sailors about her career as a sailor, including her current work with the Magenta Project, and other opportunities for women in sailing. It really inspired the sailors to seek out big challenges and leadership roles within the sport.”

“I was really impressed with all the girls and the close racing, especially on the last day,” said Kratzig. “It’s an honor to be here as a coach, especially having participated in this event growing up and now to give something back towards women’s sailing and helping grow the knowledge and enthusiasm of the young female sailors is really exciting. This is a broad spectrum of sailors with varying experience. By bringing them all together it shows everybody that we have a strong contingency of women in sailing and we need to continue to build on that. This event is critical to their development as a sailor.”

The 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship for the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy was hosted by the Houston Yacht Club.

Clinic Coaches

  • Richard Feeny – US Sailing Junior/Youth National Championships Head Coach
  • Elizabeth Kratzig – Seven-time US Sailing Team member
  • Scott Ikle – Head Coach, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
  • Hannah Tuson-Turner – Sailing Director, Sail Orcas
  • Beka Schiff – San Diego Yacht Club

Results & Coverage

  • For Twitter updates from the racecourse, results and standings, photos (to come later in the week), final report, and more information from the 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, please visit the event website.
  • Take part in the conversation on social media using #Leiter17.

Championship Notes

  • Support of the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship as well as the clinics associated with the event is made possible by funds provided by the late C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. to perpetuate his unwavering dedication to junior women’s sailing. This support is intended to encourage young American women to enhance their sailing ability, with emphasis on sportsmanship, by providing the opportunity to compete in national-level competition with guidance from high-level coaching. Tom Clagett’s family continues to assist in fulfilling his vision
  • The U.S. Junior Women’s Championships Committee annually hosts two events: a Singlehanded and a Doublehanded championship. Both championships are open events.
  • The U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship started in 1980.

Prizes

  • The Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy is the perpetual trophy presented to the winning sailor.
  • US Sailing Championship medals were awarded to competitors who finish first through fifth.
  • Trophies were awarded to competitors finishing in the top three places.
  • The C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Sportsmanship Prize was awarded to a sailor based on the results of the competitors’ ballots. *To be announced at awards ceremony Tuesday night.

Ed. Note: We’ll try to get the story straight from the winner’s mouth, plus hopefully some good photos. 

Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta Raises Nearly $10K!

Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta Raises Nearly $10K!
Fund raising competitors in the first ever Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta.

Seattle Yacht Club hosted the first ever Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta on Sunday, May 21st. Fifteen SYC junior sailors stepped up and collectively raised nearly $10,000 to help cure blood cancers. We sailed the V15s on Portage Bay and we had great weather, with sunshine and plenty of wind and had an all around great time. Kit Stoll won the top fundraiser award, raising over $2,000 and also won top skipper. Luke Gibbons won top crew. A big shout out to our coach Cam Hoard who volunteered his Sunday to run the regatta. Thanks to all of the SYC junior sailors who participated and did such a great job fundraising. We are all excited to make this an annual event at SYC and are looking forward to raising even more money next year.  Join the fight to beat blood cancers! – Owen Timms

Ed. Note: Thanks Owen and Seattle YC for putting this together and showing that the youth of today have it figured out, doing good and building community while having a great time. And for placing sailing front and center. 

SYC Leukemia Cup Junior Regatta

Owen Timms, an up and coming force on the Laser scene already, is behind the Seattle Yacht Club Leukemia Cup Junior Regatta, which will take place in Portage Bay at the Seattle Yacht Club on Sunday. For more information and registration check out this page. For Owen’s fundraising page, go here. We’ll try to get info on the regatta and fundraising next week.